With over 5 million people currently living with Alzheimer’s, the disease has impacted nearly every family in America in one way or another. Through our network of facility and home-based care, Encompass Health sees the effects of this disease on patients and their families every day.
As the number of people with dementia continues to rise, Encompass Health is furthering its commitment to helping those living with dementia by participating in the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s for the fourth consecutive year, this time as a national team.
“We became a national team because we saw it as a great opportunity to build culture while providing a better way to care for those who have been impacted by dementia,” said Julie Hardy, clinical education consultant and Walk to End Alzheimer’s team coordinator at Encompass Health.
Due the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s is taking place virtually, giving participants the opportunity to walk in small, safe groups across their communities. As a way to still come together virtually, Encompass Health has designated Saturday, Nov. 7 as a date for employees across the country to walk in solidarity for the fight against Alzheimer’s.
“We wanted this to be a grassroots effort across our segments and encourage our friends, families and partners to come together for a cause that impacts many of us on a personal and professional level,” said Hardy.
The Walk to End Alzheimer’s benefits the Alzheimer’s Association, which not only supports cutting-edge research to help find a cure to Alzheimer’s disease, but also provides resources for local communities. The association coordinates volunteers to provide needed services for those living with dementia, and offers educational opportunities to families, first responders and other local community members.
A better way to care
Another way Encompass Health is helping those living with dementia is through its memory care program, designed specifically to help home health and hospice patients living with this disease. This program takes a holistic approach to cognitive care and supports all those affected by the disease.
The memory care program has three specific goals: to determine an individual’s best functional ability and facilitate an environment that supports this; to give those living with dementia a higher quality of life and enable them to live in their homes and communities longer; and to minimize hospitalizations and the use of antipsychotic medications.
“A key element to our memory care program is taking a patient-centered approach,” said Hardy. “We’re able to help patients and families realize that their past may be their new present, and that no life is defined by dementia.”
Through the program, Encompass Health is able to provide proper education to patients and caregivers that helps create a safe and supportive environment while minimizing disruptive transitions of care. It also focuses on finding non-pharmacological interventions to treat behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia.
“As advocates for those living with dementia, the Encompass Health team is proud to join forces with the Alzheimer’s Association to help put an end to Alzheimer’s,” said Hardy.
For more information on Alzheimer’s disease or the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, visit alz.org/encompass.